It's Homecoming Week in Iowa City.
Beer Pong tables are being constructed, beer funnels are being tested, Jello shots are being planned, and the Hawkeye Nation is preparing to cap off the week with a night game on ABC against the Michigan Wolverines.
Using the word insanity to describe the scene in Iowa City during Homecoming week would not do it justice.
The Homecoming tradition at the University of Iowa began more than 95 years ago. Each year, thousands of students, alumni, faculty, and residents of Iowa come together for a week-long celebration of Hawkeye pride leading up to the Saturday Homecoming football game.
To help the non-Hawkeye make sense of it all, here are some helpful tidbits gathered from the Hawkeye Two-Deeps and elsewhere around the web.
Starting with the two-deeps, it seems we will have a few key players back in the lineup against Michigan. Bryan Bulaga, Iowa's NFL-prospect offensive tackle, is still listed as starting. After missing the previous three weeks with an illness, Bulaga returned to action against Arkansas State and looked good. He should be fully back into the swing of things for Michigan.
Cornerback Shaun Prater is back in the lineup. Prater missed Iowa’s game against Arkansas State with a hyper-extended knee, and Willie Lowe filled in. Lowe did his best, but had a difficult time against ASU. Michigan will likely be a tougher challenge for the Hawkeyes to defend, so having Prater back is key.
Iowa tight end Calcium Deficiency is still not listed on the two-deeps. Calcium Deficiency, who's name this author vowed never to mention again out of fear of jinxing him into yet another injury, has been injured since spraining his ankle at the start of the season.
Ferentz has hinted that Deficiency is likely to see playing time this week, but for now, Junior tight end Allen Reisner gets the nod again.
Saturday's game is the seventh night game at Kinnick Stadium, but only the fourth true night game. Iowa holds a 3-3 record in its six previous night games at home.
Iowa holds a 51-41-5 record in homecoming games and has lost its last two. The Hawkeyes are 1-3 against the Wolverines on homecoming.
Former University of Iowa linebacker and two-time consensus All-American Larry Station has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Station will be recognized Saturday during ceremonies at Kinnick Stadium.
Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit will be on hand to announce the game. Yes, Brent Musburger is still calling college football games at the ripe age of 123. Yes, Kirk Herbstreit is in love with The Airliner pizza and might not be fully focused on the game while he eats.
Both announcers did a great job calling plays during the Iowa-Penn State game, so expect the same this week.
Thirteen-year-old Jamia Simone Nash will sing the national anthem at Homecoming game. She will become only the second person in the history of Kinnick Stadium to perform the national anthem live.
And, if anyone still cares, former Hawkeye QB and Iowa alum Jake Christensen will be heading into Happy Valley to play Penn State while Iowa prepares for homecoming Saturday. Christensen graduated from Iowa over the summer, and transferred his remaining eligibility to Eastern Illinois.